Charlotte Piccio on the newly transformed old-time favourite.


With Vic-branded gilet wearers handing out flyers left, right and centre, coupled with the anticipation of somewhere to boogie down until the early hours – in this case 2 a.m. – excitement was mounting in town.

On Thursday 9th February, the long awaited opening of the re-branded, re-vitalised and re-decorated Vic had its wicked way with the St Andrews populace, both of the student and local variety. The queue winding down Market Street on the first night was testament to St Andrews’ voracious appetite to reinstate it as one of the liveliest bars in town, where locals and students can clink glasses and banter the night away.

Those waiting in line were told at 11 p.m. that the bar was ‘at capacity’, but after finally being let in by the Vic’s trademark burly security guards, I was able to experience the hottest ‘new’ venue in town.

And did the new Vic live up to the hype?

This was definitely more than just a monochrome wallpaper job. Gone was the old pub-equse, black and gold “VICTORIA” and in its place was an old cinema-style sign evoking the understated new-vintage style, which has been incredibly popular with Mitchell’s. This comes as no surprise as Jim Hamilton designed both.

First of all, the main bar area feels totally transformed with the bar, which previously cut off a corner of the room, now located against the right wall; freeing up more floor space for much needed tables and chairs to be filled by eager drinkers. During the day this creates a light and airy pub dining room, appealing to everyone from the day-tripper to the hungry student. Herein lies another string to the Vic’s bow: its affordable menu with all mains under £10 and all coffees under £3.

The biggest makeover has taken place in the newly branded “Social Club” which not only plays great music but also features live bands. The room that once simply contained a lackluster dance floor has been transformed with timber paneling and exposed brickwork.  (It was here that numerous disembodied dancing voices could be overheard declaring that this “felt like a proper club”; words previously unheard in any St Andrews institution). Later in the evening there was even a queue to get in to dance, demonstrating that this truly is a credible alternative to the infamous Lizard.

It isn’t just the bar space which has had a revamp but the whole concept of the Vic. This laidback, playful vibe even permeates the website and menu, which are almost entirely colloquial and embody the Vic’s quirky ideals with typewriter font aesthetics.

All in all the changes have resulted in a very successful transformation of our beloved Vic. As word spreads like wildfire about the fantastic atmosphere, food and dancing, The Vic is set to become the place to be… no doubt about it.


Charlotte Piccio

Image credit – Charlotte Piccio